Hungary has a long-standing history in wine production, dating back to the time of Romans and the Celts. Centuries of great migrations brought the Avar nation to central Europe. Although their ancient cultures has since been lost, the Hungarians who later migrated to the great planes of Central Europe adopted and preserved the wine making crafts of the Avars. Thus grape growing and wine production quickly spread amongst the medieval Hungarian cities. This process was further promoted by different privileges bestowed by the rulers of that time, who considered wine production improvements as an important part of their policy. Although the Tartar and the Turkish conquests of Hungary may have hampered this trend up until the 17th century, by the 18th century, Hungarian wine making flourished again reaching markets stretching from German speaking municipalities and the Netherlands to England. Over the years, ancient tradition merged with new local innovations coupled with the great variety of climate and soil, resulted in emergence of 22 distinct wine regions in the country.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written on May 21st, 2010 , Travel, Wines

Slovenia lies on the southern slopes of the Alps and touches the Mediterranean. Although it may enjoy the benefits of “the best of both worlds,” Slovene viticulture is also at the mercy of unpredictable climate from both the north and the south. Consequently, the total annual output of Slovene vineyards may vary as much as 50%. There are extraordinary vintages and absolute failures, with a spectrum of “in-betweens.” There have been seven extraordinary vintages in this century: 1917, 1942, 1947, 1952, 1958, 1971, and 1983. The 1993 vintage is considered excellent in all areas, but the 1994 was only excellent in Primorje. In general the 1995 vintage was generally poor to average.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written on May 21st, 2010 , Travel, Wines

Tour Wine

A Virtual Tour of Grapes, Wines, Wineries